Robert Bosch, the world's largest car supplier, discussed the benefits of a possible IPO with investment bankers as part of a broader funding assessment, but chose to remain unlisted, said the people close to the business stand.
Bosch managers invited several bankers to talk about the financing needs of the capital market, while the car supplier is adjusting its activities to keep pace with the shift of the car industry from internal combustion engines to an electric and autonomous future.
Bosch remains strongly exposed to diesel and combustion engines and moving production to electric motors and other components requires billions of euros in investments over a number of years, according to the sources.
As part of these deliberations, the IPO of the group or individual business units was thrown by the bankers, according to the sources.
"There are no [IPO] plans, "said a spokesperson for Bosch.
Bosch is run by the Bosch foundation, which owns 92 percent of Bosch's capital, while the Bosch family owns the rest.
While a number of other German suppliers have been on the list in recent years – including the brake supplier Knorr Bremse, the bearer Schaeffler and the lighting group Hella – Bosch have so far opposed calls to gain access to the stock market as a source of financing.
On Thursday, Bosch said it expects global car production to remain at this year's level by 2019, referring to a cooling in China and lower demand for diesel cars in Europe.
"Next year we will be moderate, but we do not expect a recession," said Rolf Bulander, the head of Bosch's mobility solutions unit.
Bosch aims for stronger growth in 2019 than the car market as a whole, he said.